RHA Audio is relatively unknown to the audio scene. They are a UK based company making inexpensive headphones and earphones.
The earphone on review today is their flagship RHA MA450i IEM which at 40 pounds is quite low priced when you consider top tier IEMs sell at upwards of $500 these days.
These earphones are very similar to RHAs other model (MA350) and share the same housing and drivers. The MA450i scores over its less expensive sibling by offering an inline remote with mic which is compatible with Apple devices. For non Apple devices the volume controls don’t work but the mic worked perfectly with my Android phone.
I have over the years used and reviewed many IEMs from mostly Chinese companies such as Head-Direct, Idance, Brainwavz, Sherwood, Soundmagic, Meelectric and others.
While I have used IEMs from top tier Europe and US manufacturers like Sennheiser, Ultimate Ears and Shure I have only used their high end earphones and never their low end earphones.
The general trend is that top tier earphone manufacturers like AKG, Sennheiser, Shure and others are competitive only at the higher end of the spectrum on account of their higher overheads of having offices and research centers in Europe or in the US. The lower end models are generally not as competitive to Chinese companies since Chinese companies have much lesser overheads which allows them to have better margins.
So I was interested to know what differences a UK based company having its research center in Glasgow Scotland will offer over these Chinese manufactures.
First off the packaging was very nice, but one thing really caught my eye. RHA offers you a 3 year warranty ! None of my previous well used IEMs has lasted more than 2 years without facing any problem, and here RHA audio is offering a whole 3 years of warranty! The only few to last more than 3 years were due to limited usage more than anything else.
The build quality of these IEMs scream quality, and if someone told me these were priced at $300 I would have believed them easily.
Of course looking like $300 IEMs means very little with regards to sound quality.